A Study Claims That Having Kids Can Make You Happier, but Only When They Move Out
While single and unmarried women have been considered the happiest, recent research has shown that parents can be pretty satisfied with their lives too. They just only have to meet one small condition. Their children have to leave the family nest and give their parents an opportunity to live by themselves.
Here at Bright Side we had a look at this curious study and are ready to share with our readers why parents may become a bit happier when their children move out.
Researchers surveyed 55,000 people and here’s what they found:
Researchers from Heidelberg University in Germany, conducted an intriguing study that revealed that people with children are happier, at an older age, than their childless peers. Christoph Becker and his team analyzed the data from a survey of 55,000 people who are over 50 to determine the level of their emotional well-being.
The results showed that older people whose children moved out exhibited fewer symptoms of depression and apathy and were more enthusiastic about life.
Parents feel less pressure and have more free time.
Becker is sure that these results can be explained by the fact that parents are constantly under a lot of stress, because they have to balance their careers and taking care of their children. They may also struggle with some financial problems and ignore their own interests for the sake of their children. Having their offspring leave the nest, relieves this pressure and gives them more time for themselves.
But children should still spend time with their parents.
To make the separation beneficial, parents should stay in touch with their children. Becker believes that social support is extremely important for the mental health of older people and that it’s their grown-up children who are able to provide the necessary reassurance to their parents.
This way parents don’t feel lonely and still get the necessary social interaction. Children may also take over the place of the caregivers and provide additional support to their parents at an older age.
The situation might still differ from country to country.
However, these results may not be the same in countries with a better childcare support system. Research conducted by sociologist Jennifer Glass from the University of Texas revealed that there’s a gap in happiness levels between parents and non-parents.
So in countries like Norway and Sweden, where parents are entitled to paid parental leave and greater childcare benefits, older parents living with their grown-up children still might be more satisfied with life than their childless peers, because of the additional social support they get.
Do you think that having children move out may really improve parental well-being? Have you or someone you know experienced something similar? Feel free to share your stories in the comments.